There are some pretty impressive gourmet restaurants out there. At times, the food may be debatable, but the presentation is always impeccable. Great chefs know that a part of the culinary experience lies in the table service. You just don't serve a gourmet meal on disposable plates. And, so it is with fine espresso. But, it's not solely aesthetics; the cup you're extracting into could have a tangible impact on your espresso. Everything from the shape, size and material of a cup should be taken into account. Though there is no "standard" shape for an espresso cup, most of them tend have to a softly rounded form that is narrow at the bottom and gets progressively wider at the rim. The wider opening at the top is said to enhance crema presentation, while narrow bottom encourages espresso flavor concentration. The shape also allows to the cup to retain heat evenly so that you don't get hot and cold spots within your beverage. The size of the cup is also critical. A widely respected espresso authority, the World Barista Championship (WBC), states in its Rules and Regulations that espresso must be served in two- to three-ounce (60-90ml) cups with handles. The Gaggia Logo, Rancilio Logo, Pasquini Logo, Illy Almodovar and Julian Schnabel espresso cups are all solid choices that fall within WBC guidelines. Espresso cups are made tiny for a reason. The compact size of the espresso cup is designed to promote heat retention by reducing the surface area exposed to the air. Also, a single shot of espresso is only 1-1.5 fl.oz, while a double shot barely tips the scale at 2-2.5 fl.oz, so the espresso would be lost in a large cup. A 2-ounce cup is perfect for a single shot; if you're brewing a double go for a 3-ounce demitasse. Espresso-machine manufacturers go through great lengths to ensure heat stability during the brewing process, but once the espresso is extracted, it's up to the cup to prevent heat loss. We always advocate preheating your cups, but you can also guard against premature cooling by paying close attention to the material of your espresso cup. Most demitasses are made of porcelain, as it is an excellent insulator. Though, you should keep in mind that there are different grades of porcelain. Porcelain created using high firing temps is tougher and more durable; most connoisseurs prefer thick porcelain espresso cups like the Bodum Pavina Grip Porcelain, Francis Reptilia or Gaggia Platinum cups. Also particularly adept at heat preservation are double-walled cups. The contents stay hot while the exterior of the cups remain cool to the touch; if this is appealing to you, check out the Bodum Pavina, Assam or Canteen Glass cups. Of course, glass cups also have the added advantage of allowing you to see and appreciate your espresso. Next time you're pulling a shot, take a moment to consider the cup! Good espresso deserves to be enjoyed from great cups.
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Light, elegant, and strong, these cups can be anywhere your adventures take you. Sold in sets of two and made from a transparent polycarbonate, these espresso cups offer fantastic thermal insulation and 1.69 oz holding capacity. They are dishwasher safe, but are not microwave-safe.
My mantra should be “Quality coffee: anywhere, anytime”. I love the convenience of using the Handpresso Wild E.S.E., with a multitude of pods ranging from Lavazza and Gaggia to Illy and Aloha Island, but I have just gotten the first opportunity to try Handpresso’s Wild Dome Pod model and have to say that I am now truly in awe of Handpresso’s products and engineering. I really like the freedom that I have with my Wild E.S.E., but the idea that I not only have that freedom, but also the ability to use ground coffee is even better. I can choose the origin, grind and the roast of the coffee that I am brewing in the Handpresso Wild Dome Pod, and that I can share my favorite coffees, like Whole Latte Love Monaco with my friends while we are out and about, is the ultimate. Also, being a sailor, an essential piece of gear on the boat is my Handpresso Outdoor Set, which is made of thermo-formed EVA (Extreme Vibration Attenuation) foam reinforced fabric, and includes the Handpresso Wild, four unbreakable Cups, a stainless steel thermo-insulated flask and two small napkins. Having the hot water from the flask to make a shot of espresso is so convenient, but it also allows me to take that shot of espresso, add more hot water and turn it into an Americano. Better yet, if its hot out, pack ice and milk in the cooler (another essential piece of sailing gear) and add a Bonjour Primo Latte Frother to the mix and its iced cappuccinos for everyone! Here is the bottom line, whether you are on the water, camping with the family, at the stadium, or on a picnic, Handpresso can be right there with you to fulfill your caffeine needs.